Did you know...
Dog training is an unregulated business!
You can open a business today and call yourself a dog trainer!
There are no qualifications, certifications or licenses required!
Although not required by law, there are trainer certifications available. There are also numerous trainers associations, educational institutes and animal welfare organizations that promote and teach only safe, positive, science based training. I suggest you Google some of these groups to find out more...
*American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior
*Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers
*Association of Professional Dog Trainers
*Pet Professional Guild
*International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants
*Truly Dog Friendly
*American College of Veterinary Behaviorists
Years of experience mean nothing if a trainer is still using outdated information that includes talk of dominance, pack leadership, and being alpha. Or if they are using any fear or force based training methods including verbal or physical reprimands such as alpha rolls, scruff shakes, flooding, intimidation, leash corrections, yelling "NO", using shake cans, throw chains or spray bottles... just to name just a few.
Steer clear of trainers that promote the use of choke chains, pinch collars, (prong collars) or shock collars (also called e-collars, remote trainers, e-stimulation) These tools are outdated, can injure your dog and are not necessary when training properly. See my article on Shock Collars HERE
A good dog trainer will have a thorough understanding of current scientifically proven information on learning theory and behavior and will use only positive reinforcement based methods that include lure/reward training, marker training and counter-conditioning/desensitization to modify or eliminate unwanted behavior and to train new behaviors.
Please do not let anyone hurt your dog. You do not need to "show him who's boss", make him walk behind you, eat before he does, walk thru doors ahead of him. Again, this has been proven to be inaccurate outdated information.
Remember... your dog trusts you to teach him what he doesn't know and to protect him from anyone who wants you to scare, punish or hurt him. Please, do not betray that trust. If it doesn't feel right it probably isn't. Training should be fun for both you and your dog!
Find a trainer who is kind, educated, and uses only, force free, dog friendly, reward based, positive training methods HERE.
Here is a link to an interesting Blog about the largest dog training franchise in the US.